Saturday, October 04, 2008

UGC pay revision: some observations

Just a quick follow-up on the last post.

  1. In a clear case of grade inflation, universities and colleges will now use the more standard designations of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor. In the process, the designations of lecturer and reader are being dumped.

    Why is this grade inflation? A lecturer (who will now be called assistant professor) at a college need not have a PhD; a masters degree will do. Heck, in engineering colleges, even a bachelors degree will do.

  2. However, I have no problem with this scheme. I think it's a good way to standardize across all institutions of higher education, so that eventually, they will all have similar norms for their fresh recruits.

  3. But the Chadha committee has muddied things by creating several sub-divisions within each designation: thus you have at least three different kinds of assistant professors: normal, senior and selection grade! Similarly, professors come in three flavours: normal, senior and 'of eminence'. Thus there are a total of eight levels, which implies that a faculty member may expect to go through a promotion-related exercise -- with all its associated pressures -- every four years or so. Which seems quite pointless to me.

  4. Finally, I noted in the previous post that someone with an ME or MTech degree will start with a salary of about Rs. 29,000 per month. If you add the house rent allowance (about 6,000 in a big city) and transport allowance (Rs. 3,200), the total salary will go up to Rs. 38,000.

    The implications of this for a fresh recruit at an IIT would be interesting to ponder. Since he/she would have a PhD and several years of post-doc experience, I would guess that he/she can expect a bare salary of about Rs. 40,000 per month (as opposed to the current bare salary of about Rs. 25,000). If the person chooses to stay off-campus, he/she will also get house rent and transport allowances, bringing the gross salary to close to Rs. 50,000.

    [Caution: All this is speculation. A couple of unknowns: UGC itself is yet to take a decision on the new salary structures. Further, IITs will have to wait for the Goverdhan Mehta committee to finish its job, and we don't know what that committee is going to recommend!]

What do you think: Is Rs. 50,000 per month an attractive salary? Sure, it's more attractive than Rs. 30,000 a month. The question is: if you wouldn't consider an IIT faculty position for Rs. 30,000, would the new salary make you change your mind?


  1. Anonymous said...

    50K plus accommodation on campus with cheap [and reliable] electricity and high bandwidth Internet, and money for traveling to top conferences? sure!


  2. Anonymous said...

    50K includes HRA my friend. Acco. on campus will leave your salary in the range of 40K.


  3. Anonymous said...

    Difficult to say! now my grouse is not as much about the actual salary as it is about the shabby treatment meted out to PhD holders (esp. in engineering) in indian Academia. Consider this: A young BE/ME joining as asst. prof. in an engineering college typically at 22-24 Yrs. age gets about 38K(gross). Contrast this with a young asst. prof at IIT/IISc/IIM/TIFR who joins typically at 32-34 yrs.[due to PhD+postdoc requirements] starts with about 48K(gross). The difference is only about 10K, for all the extra effort the latter put in during those 10 years!! This translates to an annual increment of roughly Rs. 1000. I am sure the annual increment of the former category would be more than this. IN OTHER WORDS, this might lead to the unusual situation - where one who joins IITs/IISc at the entry level finds that - his BE classmate joined teaching right after BE, in fact, takes home more. NOW, that is only my rough estimate - I am not very familiar with the nuances of pay band-increment system.

    It would be interesting to compare the actual approx. salaries for the above mentioned two groups of faculty. Prof. Abi, could you please help me out?

    Here is an interesting article about how PhD holders lose out in Indian academia by Dr. Gangan Pratap. Sadly, the situation is more or less unique to India.


  4. Anonymous said...

    A thought provoking article by Dr. Gangan Pratap. The appropriate entry level for those with Ph. D. and ample Post - Doctoral experience should be the Associate Professorship. Which is scarce and sometimes those who are appointed at this level by direct selection are not getting the advance increments according to their merit. Now, imagine the situation of those who join the University system as lecturer after Ph. D. and post - doctoral experience. they are the ultimate losers as rightly pointed out by Dr. Pratap. In my opinion there should be more entry level positions for those entering the university system with Ph. D. and experience. The current method of clubbing the lecturer (selection grade) and Reader in one pay scale is not appropriate and this anomaly is not rectified in the new proposals made by the Chadda Committee.

  5. Anonymous said...

    As per the last pay revision teachers promoted to Lecturer Selection grade after 1.1.96 and before 27/8/98 were not placed in scale of 14940 as and when the complete 5 years. This was an anomaly. This anomaly was added as a term and codition of the 6th PRC. BUT THIS ANOMALY IS NOT RECTIFIED?